The late Capt. Ed

Today Cbay had the honor of conducting final rites onboard for an old and dear friend.

I have known Edward O. Distin since the mid-eighties. He was one of my instructors in my very first safe-boating course given by the United States Power Squadron. He convinced me to join the USPS and thus a friendship began. Later when he and wife Sue moved to Destin we maintained our relationship and we visited them often at their home on Buck Bayou off Choctawhatchie Bay very near Sandestin. We became friends with their good neighbors Larry and Delia Taulbee and it was to their house we travelled yesterday for a wonderful outdoor Thanksgiving.

Capt. Ed was a genius in many respects and could diagnose a boat problem over the phone just like he was standing there looking at it with you. In 2008 he died suddenly and I not only lost a friend but also a secret weapon in effecting boat repairs. I conducted his funeral at that time and Sue kept the ashes at home until she could decide how to properly deal with them.

She decided when she heard about this trip that it would be nice if close friends of Ed could gather on our boat and spread his ashes on his beloved Choctawhatchie Bay. So today at 2 pm, Sue, Larry and Delia, Tommy and Sharon¬†with son TJ Gray all came aboard at Bluewater Bay and we cast off and ran out into a relatively calm bay. Jan took the helm and I proceeded to the cockpit with all hands to begin the service. I used the service for committing sailors to the deep from the Book of Common Prayer. I stepped onto the swim platform and sifted Ed’s remains into the bay while Tommy poured a Natural Light, Ed’s drink of choice, into the water. We then all toasted with a Natural Light and turned the boat for shore. A fitting final journey for a man who loved his friends and the saltwater of his adopted Florida.

Tomorrow we travel to Panama City with four additional passengers. We should have text and pictures for you then. Now for those who are careful readers you know that we have only one milestone left to accomplish on this voyage.